Spring is a great time to hit the local farmer’s market, with a variety of seasonal fruits and veggies hitting their peek of perfection. Asparagus makes our list of favorite foods for spring, as it’s loaded to good-for-you benefits and can be prepared in many different (tasty!) ways. The most common types are green, but you can also find purple and white stalks. Why the green veggie deserves some credit:
- All varieties are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants including potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.
- Asparagus is rich in glutathione, a compound that works to break down free radicals in the body, which cause aging.
- It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic to release fluid and help the body get rid of excess salt. Goodbye bloat!
- Feeling frisky after the meal? Asparagus is a libido-booster! Part of it’s aphrodisiac status comes from the richness of vitamin B6 and folate, both of which can increase arousal and orgasm.
- Compounds in asparagus serve as a natural anti-inflammatory and have been known to help ease joint discomfort, helpful for those with conditions like Rhuematoid Arthritis.
- Low sodium, high fiber, fat- and cholesterol-free: Asparagus is the perfect non-diet, diet food to slim you.
So you know why you should eat asparagus, now here’s how to get your fill. Look for a bundle with newly cut, moist ends with tips that are firm and crisp. Asparagus should smell fresh and almost grassy. To keep them for up to a week, wrap the bottom of the stalks with a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Snap off the ends at the natural breaking point (you’ll feel the difference when you bend the stalk), and steam with lemon, roast with olive oil, or sauté with garlic for quick and easy ways to prepare this in-season veggie.
Here are a few more ingenious ways to incorporate asparagus into your diet: